CRESTVIEW — Main Street Crestview Association Christmas parade organizers, working with Police Chief Tony Taylor, are taking steps to keep the event moving.
Taylor had suggested that organizers have a pre-parade mandatory meeting of float and truck drivers, group marching units in blocks, and designating multiple dispersal areas off Wilson Street.
Main Street volunteer Cal Zethmayr said the event has experienced periodic halts when units would stop at the reviewing stand, then a block later, unload riders by Badcock & More furniture, causing units behind them to halt.
The Tuesday evening meeting will help clarify new rules, Zethmayr said. Those include forbidding amplified sound that isn't Christmas music. Last year, a religious organization had a rider with a bullhorn shouting fire-and-brimstone messages that many parade goers found inappropriate.
"Some good came out of the preacher that screamed last year," Zethmayr said.
North Okaloosa Amateur Radio Club members will provide communications, escorting each block of 25 units and reporting their progress, Zethmayr said. Each block will be sent to a pre-assigned separate disbanding area after the parade to avoid confusion and traffic jams. Supporters will then know where to wait to help dismantle floats.
Organizers have met with CSX railroad representatives, who had agreed to stage trains beyond Crestview to assure none crossed Main Street between 5:45 and 7:30 p.m. on parade night.
Finally, Zethmayr said, the Main Street Crestview Association will strictly enforce the "one Santa" rule. The only float that will include the jolly old elf is the association's, which traditionally concludes the parade.
"After all, there's only one Santa Claus," Zethmayr said.
Want to go?
WHAT:Mandatory meeting for drivers or adult representatives of Crestview Christmas Parade units
WHEN:7 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE:Warriors Hall, Whitehurst Municipal Building, Stillwell Boulevard and Industrial Drive
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.